Jump to content

American Sandwichiana


Gillman
This topic has been inactive for at least 365 days, and is now closed. Please feel free to start a new thread on the subject! 

Recommended Posts

Open faced sandwiches are rare out here on the West Coast. I remember my boss taking me to a fairly nice restaurant and being disappointed that the Steak Sandwich didn't have a top bun. That's about the only open-faced sandwich I've come across.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 79
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Gillman

    19

  • cowdery

    11

  • CrispyCritter

    5

  • Edward_call_me_Ed

    5

To me, the sandwich I crave most these days is one I grew up with in the sleepy little town of Fredericktown, MO. A small drive in simply named The Pig has been serving their smoked pork shoulder sandwiches for a LONG time (my dad carhopped there in the 50s). They smoke the pork shoulders in the pit style and slice them up thin. Then they put it between plain old white bread and brush butter on the top and bottom and heap em up on a tray. As needed, the sandwiches are given one (regular), two (double) or three (triple, my favorite) squirts of their "hot sauce" which isn't really all that hot and then toasted in a sandwich press that makes them look much like a toasted cheese sandwich. Oh, and a slice of american cheese added is called a combination (coming also in regular, double or triple). Carhops still wait on drive up diners but there is also a small inside dining room. Every time I go to see my dad, that is a shrine I must visit. The Pig was always the turnaround spot for weekend cruisers when I was in high school and a great place to grab a quick triple or Lottaburger or Mincemeat sandwich. Boy, do I miss that place way out here in Colorado.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

One you'll often find in the coastal South, esp. along the Gulf, is the fried grouper sandwich. Now usually served on a bun (although the first I remember was on sliced bread) or hoagie type roll, it differs from the fast-food fried fish sandwich primarily in the use of real fish.

Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob, thanks, one time in Florida (different parts including Clearwater area) I noted many signs in the country advertising smoked mullet for sale. I think that is a fresh water fish. Is smoked mullet still prevalent in the South, if so, is it a coastal thing mostly?

Gary

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not as prevalent as I'd like; smoked mullet a favorite of mine and declining in availability. The roadside stands are going the way of boiled peanut stands; just fewer all the time. Can still find some in seafood stores or a guy smoking them at a marina or something, and sometimes even a Publix grocery. And it is mostly a coastal thing. The mullet is a saltwater fish that is usually taken from more brackish, estruarine waters. Although some claim success with hook and line, it eats vegitation, I believe, and is mostly taken by cast nets thrown from small boats, in fairly small creeks, etc. So it is the kind of thing where a harvest will be a guy with an 18' jon boat and four full coolers, which doesn't lend itself to the sort of commercial distribution that goes on today.

I have to admit, I have no clue as to the current mullet regs in FL, or anywhere else. When I was a kid in the 60's and 70's, I don't think I ever heard of there being any.

Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a fascinating area in Southern Illinois, a strip of land between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, that obviously gets increasingly narrow until the two converge. It is interesting because there are a wealth of Mississippian and other Indian sites there, and its present day culture is interesting because it is rural and somewhat isolated, bridges being infrequent. There are still several ferries in operation.

I had a unique fish dish there in a diner a few years ago. I don't recall the species but it wasn't catfish. When breaded and deep fried, it looked like an Outback Bloomin' Onion, each petal a perfectly cooked morsel of fish flesh.

Louisville, presumably because of the Ohio River, is a great town for fried fish sandwiches.

Mike Linnig's, on the far outskirts of town, is a one-of-a-kind place right by the river that specializes in fried fish, cold beer and turtle soup. In the summer, most of the seating is out of doors. It's a restaurant, but it feels like a county fair.

Cunningham's, downtown, is not the original location, which was a notorious saloon, bordello and betting parlor, established in 1870 and destroyed by fire in 2001. Still a local favorite, and now entirely respectable, they have a complete menu but the fried fish sandwich and turtle soup are the traditional picks.

There's also a local fast food chain called Moby Dick that has a mean fried fish sandwich, a large fillet served on rye bread with tartar sauce, hush puppies on the side, just as God intended.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Around Lake Huron and maybe Lake Ontario in Canada, yellow perch are still fished commercially and for sport. In the towns along the lake, this is fried and often served in a sandwich with cole slaw. I know in Buffalo, New York, Friday fish fries were very common, and maybe still are. One time I had a great fried fish on a bun in Dunkirk, NY (west of Buffalo on the Lake). I was looking for a small, old-independent brewery called Koch's. By the time I got there, Koch's had closed but some of its beers were still in the stores. I drove there myself during a weekend to see this. I talked to the local people and one man told me, mix Koch's porter with its lager, 1:2. I still do that with porter and lager sometimes and just had one with dinner, except I did it 50/50. I had as much fun on that trip as if I went, say, to Cannes. Its bouilliabaisse is great but the meal I had in Dunkirk was just as good. Scenes on the beach maybe would give Cannes the advantage but never mind. :)

Gary

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fried Lake Erie perch was a favorite from my childhood which, apparently, is once again available. I had some here in Chicago at the Hopleaf.

Link to post
Share on other sites
...yellow perch...

Not a sandwich story, specifically, but your mention of yellow perch harkens back to some of my best memories of childhood -- our trips to fish with cane poles off the South Haven, Michigan, pier for yellow perch out of Lake Michigan.

We'd waken well before dawn, pack and travel the 50 miles to the lakeshore, and catch 10-12-inch perch from the big lake's waters using 'mousies' as bait on a simple bamboo-cane pole and line.

The perch were/are great-eating fish and, though sometimes found in the area's inland lakes, were a dinner-table treat pan-fried after such a trip.

Good times, good memories.

Link to post
Share on other sites
One you'll often find in the coastal South, esp. along the Gulf, is the fried grouper sandwich. Now usually served on a bun ..., it differs from the fast-food fried fish sandwich primarily in the use of real fish.

Sadly, it seems that it might not really be grouper. I know I was disappointed in the grouper sandwich in a restaurant on Anna Maria Island (sear Sarasota) last month. I suspect now that it wasn't really grouper.

The grouper nuggets at our "regular" restaurant down there seemed good, though.

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites
CrispyCritter
There is a fascinating area in Southern Illinois, a strip of land between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, that obviously gets increasingly narrow until the two converge. It is interesting because there are a wealth of Mississippian and other Indian sites there, and its present day culture is interesting because it is rural and somewhat isolated, bridges being infrequent. There are still several ferries in operation.

I had a unique fish dish there in a diner a few years ago. I don't recall the species but it wasn't catfish. When breaded and deep fried, it looked like an Outback Bloomin' Onion, each petal a perfectly cooked morsel of fish flesh.

Mmmmm, that sounds good. I wish I had known about that one when I took my little roadtrip to St. Louis last November. Rather than go directly home, I crossed the Mississippi at Alton, and then headed up Illinois Highway 100, which crosses into that general area as it heads north. Some of the stretches of Hwy. 100 are quite scenic. Unfortunately, the weather sucked that day, so I didn't stop to take pictures.

On the other hand, during the trip to St. Louis, I stopped at a classic Route 66 icon, the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield - in business since 1929, and at its present location since 1935. It's well worth a stop if you're in the area - not just for the history, but for the food as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
CrispyCritter

Yup, Highway 100 goes through Kampsville. I'll have to remember this in case I head back to that area sometime.

Strangely, Google Maps labels Illinois River Rd. going due south from Kampsville as Rte. 1. This is very incorrect, as Illinois Highway 1 runs along the eastern edge of the state from Chicago (95th & Halsted) to Cave-in-Rock on the Ohio River. Maybe it's a county highway number.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in New Orleans, so my three favorite sandwiches of all time are the muffaletta, a Ferdi's special from Mother's and a good shrimp po boy. A muffaletta is a large round Italian bread stuffed with cappicola, mortadela, salami, provalone, topped with a garlicky olive spread. A Ferdi's special is roast beef po boy (w/ gravy and debris)that adds ham and is a specialty of Mother's Restaurant. The shimp po boy consists of fried gulf shrimp on french bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise. Some places may put on cocktail sauce or tartar sauce, but they wouldn't be considered a classic "dressed" shrimp po boy.

Now that I'm in North Carolina, we put cole slaw on chili burgers, chili dogs, and most commonly pork barbeque sandwiches. There are two kinds of barbeque in NC, the tomato based sauce of the Western part of the state, and the vinegar based sauce of the Eastern part of the state. It's real good...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned the Reuben; corned beef, Swiss cheese and Sauerkraut with Russian dressing on toasted rye or pumpernickel. it's one of my favorite hot sandwiches.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't recall the species but it wasn't catfish. When breaded and deep fried, it looked like an Outback Bloomin' Onion, each petal a perfectly cooked morsel of fish flesh.

Sounds to me like it might have been a roughfish like carp or sucker. Most of the time when a fish is prepared like that is for two reasons: 1. carp to get the "mud" taste out or 2. suckers to allow the hot grease to dissolve all the tiny little bones. I may be wrong but that would be my guess. Then again it could even be sturgeon out of the Mississippi or Illinois....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when I used to live across the river from St. Louis I rode my motorcycle north of Alton to Hardin where their specialty was a buffalo fish sandwich with raw onions and pickles. I wish I had one now. Hardin also had a bar called the County Seat that had the Mescal with the worm in an airline type 2oz bottle [Monte Albin] that they would pour in a glass and serve. If you drank the worm they would write your name in red magic marker on the ceiling or wall. If you could not keep the worm down they wrote your name with a green magic marker. I have my name [in red] on the ceiling three times. They had hundreds of names on the ceiling and walls.

bj

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds to me like it might have been a roughfish like carp or sucker. Most of the time when a fish is prepared like that is for two reasons: 1. carp to get the "mud" taste out or 2. suckers to allow the hot grease to dissolve all the tiny little bones. I may be wrong but that would be my guess. Then again it could even be sturgeon out of the Mississippi or Illinois....

The "tiny bones" thing rings a bell, so it may have been a sucker.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Virus_Of_Life
I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned the Reuben; corned beef, Swiss cheese and Sauerkraut with Russian dressing on toasted rye or pumpernickel. it's one of my favorite hot sandwiches.

I am with you on that one! I was going to mention it too until I finally got to your post where it was brought up. I love Reuben Sandwiches, not sure where the originated although the similarity to Corned Beef and Pastrami on rye from NY would make me think that area.

Eating Reubens is where I believe I developed my love for Rye bread. There is some place in Oregon that makes a Turkey Reuben, McMenamins Pub I think it was, that was just phenomenol! I love it with pastrami too. OK I am hungry now!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hillbilly hot dog: footlong weiner on a white bun; what distinguishes it is onions, chili (NOT hot dog sauce), and cole slaw, relish and mustard are optional; some places offer kraut but I've never noticed any consistency on that; the weiner may be anything from an IGA generic to Nathan's but I've never seen anyone offer Hebrew National and I've eaten dozens of these.

Hillbilly hot dogs are available at any dairy bar and roadside grill in Appalachian KY, WV, VA, and TN under various names, but usually just 'hot dog' (w/ everything) also 'slaw dog', 'southern slaw dog', 'miner's sausage' etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

While not american, Argentina has a great sandwich down here in Mendoza called the Lomito. This has beef tenderloin grilled on a thin bread with their special mayo, lettuce and tomato. But always order the Complete Lomito. With ham, cheese and a fried egg on top. You can´t eat the whole thing. Costs about $3 ´Complete´.

Randy

Link to post
Share on other sites
But always order the Complete Lomito. With ham, cheese and a fried egg on top. You can´t eat the whole thing.

Randy

Randy,

Sounds like a challenge to me!:grin:

Scott

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have waited and waited to respond but the time has come. Being from Philadelphia, I can tell you that there is no reason to go past the Philly Cheesesteak or Hoagie. When made right they are a true treasure.

Unfortunate for me that out here in SoCal they are impossible to find made right.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of things don't travel well. For example, sub shops along the Jersey shore make the best subs ever. What makes them better than Subway or Quizno's or any other sub shop? I mean, a sub is a sub, right? Hell, it's just lunch meat. But there's something about them, to the point where I went into a chain place in an airport once, and it was either called Jersey sub or they said something that led me to believe they were trying to emulate Jersey subs and, by God, they got it right. Delicious.

Though not a sandwich, crawfish are a good example. You can get crawfish up here, but they don't even come close to tasting like they do in Louisiana. And don't even get me started on the crawfish that's coming in from China. Truly vile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the Cuban sandwich was mentioned. I have never had this in Cuba (never been there, no desire to) but I have in Miami. This is a good example of an elegant, light sandwich. It is some slices of fresh pork and ham, a layer of cheese, a pickle of some kind I think and a dab of mustard on a characteristic crusty roll. Very nice and I was told there it was invented for a late night snack, after a night in the clubs or bars. Ole!

Gary

Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.